News - Match - Player
Bangalore, 08 November, 2017
Bengaluru, Nov 9: It is celebration time for the tennis enthusiasts of Bengaluru as the Garden City will host the Bengaluru Open, an event on the ATP Challenger Tour at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association here from Nov 20-25. The USD 100,000 prize money Bengaluru Open is being sponsored by Karnataka Tourism and is the richest prize money Challenger event in Southern Asia. The event envisaged and driven by Karnataka Tourism returns to Bengaluru after a gap of two years and has become bigger and better with the prize money being doubled in this edition. The nomenclature of the event comes on the heels of Karnataka Tourism’s aim to consolidate Bengaluru as the most dynamic city using sports tourism and enhance brand Bengaluru which has become the hub of IT and Start Up capital of India. Speaking to the newsmen while launching the countdown for the Bengaluru Open, Minister for Fisheries and Youth Services and Sports, Pramodh Madhwaraj said that the government intends to promote sports at the highest level. “The Government of Karnataka is happy to provide support to the Bengaluru Open which is one of the biggest event on the ATP circuit in the Asian region. Through our support, we intend to not only promote but help in growing the sport,” said the Minister who was the Chief Guest. “We have in the past, rotated this event amongst different districts in Karnataka like Dharwad, Belgaum, Kalburgi and Chikmagalur and will endeavor to promote the sport in tier-2 and tier-3 cities of Karnataka,” he added while applauding the efforts of KSLTA in the promotion of the sport. Minister for Tourism, IT, BT, Science & Technology Priyank Kharge who was the Guest of Honour said that such events were a vehicle to showcase our culture and tourism. “We have adopted a unique approach to promote tourism and have taken the initiative to use sports as a platform which will not only put us on the global map but establish as a preferred tourist destination,” said the Minister. “We believe that sports go a long way in boosting tourism and events such as Bengaluru Open should be a long term commitment. I urge the community of Bengaluru to come together to help this event grow. On behalf of Karanataka Tourism, I assure a support to host this event for Five years,” he added. On the competition front, there would be a draw of 32 with 22 players earning a direct entry while there would be four wildcards, four qualifiers (draw of 32) and two from special exempted category. The top seed for the event is Slovakian Blaz Kavcic who is ranked under top-100 in the world followed by Radu Albot from Moldova. As many as three Indians – Yuki Bhambri who is the top-ranked amongst the hosts, Prajnesh Gunneswaran, and Ramkumar Ramanathan all a part of the Davis Cup team have made it to the main draw. The local challenge comes in the form of Mysore lads Suraj R Prabodh, a runner-up in National Championship and Prajwal Dev who will have to battle it out to make it to the qualifiers’ category. Sumit Nagal, Saket Myneni and Sriram Balaji are the other Indians to watch for. Doubles would be a keenly contested affair as Divij Sharan who has breached his career best of top-50 and Olympian Vishnu Vardhan would be the key attraction. Bengaluru will be the final stop of the 5-legged ATP sojourn in Asia with Vietnam hosting two of them, China and Pune (India) hosting one each. The Bengaluru carries points that are allotted for a US $ 125,000 prize money event as apart from the prize money, the hospitality is also being taken care of by the organisers. Former National coach and Development Officer AITA, Sunil Yajaman would be the Tournament Director while Frenchman Stephane Cretois would be the ATP Supervisor. Speaking on the occasion M Lakshminarayan, Addl. Chief Secretary for Govt. of Karnataka and Hon. Vice President, KSLTA said: “We are happy to host the ATP Challenger in Bengaluru. We have left no stone unturned to ensure a smooth conduct of the event. We hope to host many such events in the future,” he added. CS Sundar Raju, Hon. Vice President AITA and Hon. Secretary KSLTA who was also present on the occasion assured that the players will be well looked after. “We will give our best to ensure that the players take back happy memories,” he said. The KSLTA is not averse to conducting big ticket events having hosted many National and International events including ATP World doubles championship, Davis Cup and the WTA where the famed William sisters – Serena and Venus have graced these courts. With a world class facility set amidst a serene backdrop and some quality tennis, a tennis buff cannot ask for more.
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